REWARDING CRUELTY Greyhound Racing in Ireland - GREY2K USA

 
REWARDING CRUELTY Greyhound Racing in Ireland - GREY2K USA
REWARDING CRUELTY
Greyhound Racing in Ireland

                   GREY2K USA
November 2019      WORLDWIDE
REWARDING CRUELTY Greyhound Racing in Ireland - GREY2K USA
All around the world, commercial greyhound racing is ending. The United
States first invented this pastime, but now history is reversing itself. The
voter-ordered closure of twelve tracks in Florida has prompted a complete
remission of a once-powerful American industry. The only legal dog track in
China has just been forced to close and 532 surviving hounds flown to waiting
rescue groups across the globe. Countries such as Argentina and Uruguay
have chosen to prophylactically ban the activity and the Australian Capital
Territory has become the first jurisdiction Down Under to join this trend.

So what to make of dog racing in Ireland? Its miserable economics should
have led to happier days for greyhounds long ago. Now, the devastating
reportage of RTÉ has also exposed the misery of the dogs themselves. My
first greyhound Zoe was of Irish descent and to think of her good fortune
in escaping abandonment at the side of the road or slaughter at a knackery
simply takes my breath away.

It is our hope that the report which follows helps usher in a new day for
Irish hounds. We are grateful to the Irish Council Against Blood Sports for
joining with us in its production and would also like to thank the many groups,
including Greyhound Awareness Cork, which contributed information and
guidance for its completion.

Christine A. Dorchak, Esq.
President and General Counsel
GREY2K USA Worldwide

2 REWARDING CRUELTY Greyhound Racing in Ireland
REWARDING CRUELTY Greyhound Racing in Ireland - GREY2K USA
The Irish Council Against Blood Sports, founded in 1966, is a voluntary
organisation campaigning against hunting wild animals with dogs and other
cruel sports that exploit and abuse animals.

In recent years, ICABS has been actively campaigning against greyhound
racing in Ireland, appealing successfully to sponsors and charities to shun the
sport. The horrific revelations in the June 2019 RTÉ Investigates documentary,
Greyhounds Running For Their Lives, shocked the nation and galvanised the
campaign against commercial dog racing. This declining industry, with falling
attendances and income, is being propped up by government funding, and
without that funding, it would most certainly collapse.

We cannot thank GREY2K USA Worldwide enough for compiling this compre-
hensive and concise report on greyhound racing in Ireland. The undeniable
facts and figures contained in this excellent report are a damning indictment
of a cruel and exploitative industry that sees our gentle greyhounds, used in
track racing and hare coursing, as nothing more than “products,” to be killed or
abandoned or exported to a horrific fate abroad, when they are no longer of use.

It’s an utter travesty that the Irish government continues to reward this
appalling cruelty and abuse with millions of euros annually, while animal
rescue groups carry out their vital work on a pittance.

Nicole Matthews
Member, Board of Directors
Irish Council Against Blood Sports

                               GREY2K USA Worldwide | Irish Council Against Blood Sports 3
REWARDING CRUELTY Greyhound Racing in Ireland - GREY2K USA
Table of Contents
Executive Summary                   5     8. GREYHOUND WELFARE                    17

IRISH GREYHOUND STADIA MAP          8     8A. High Profile Cruelty Cases          17

GreyHOUND RACING IN IRELAND         9     8B. Inspections and Kennel Conditions   18

1. TRACK INFORMATION                9     8C. Exported Greyhounds                 18

2. History of Greyhound Racing      9     9. DYING INDUSTRY                       19

3. Regulatory Structure             10    9A. Speculation of Track Closures       19

4. Drugs                            11    9B. Bookmakers                          19

4A. Penalties for Drug Violations   12    10. CRISIS OF CONFIDENCE                19

4B. Drug Testing                    12    10A. IGB Business Model Analysis by
                                          Preferred Results Ltd.                  19
5. ECONOMICS                        13
                                          10B. RTÉ Investigates: Greyhounds
5A. Debt and Falling Attendance     13    Running For Their Lives                 21

5B. Financial Losses                13    10C. Public Response to Cruelty
                                          Revelations                             22
6. Racing Injuries and Deaths       15

7. BREEDING                         16

7A. Dog Pounds                      17

7B. Disappearing Dogs               17

                                          Naomi of Ireland (Emma Keegan)

4 REWARDING CRUELTY Greyhound Racing in Ireland
REWARDING CRUELTY Greyhound Racing in Ireland - GREY2K USA
Executive Summary
Track Information and Regulatory Structure
  • There are fifteen licensed greyhound stadia in Ireland. The Irish
    Greyhound Board (IGB) has interests in ten of these tracks.

  • Dog racing is regulated by the IGB. The IGB has repeatedly failed to police
    the industry, and the government has done little to hold the IGB to account.

  • Amendments to the Greyhound Racing Bill 2018 that were designed to
    require reporting on the disposition of greyhounds and to create a “white
    list” of acceptable foreign countries for export were defeated.

Drugs
  • The IGB first withheld positive doping results from public view in 2006.

  • The Morris Report, published in 2016, identified significant deficiencies
    that undermine the integrity and reputation of greyhound racing.
    Public concerns regarding the IGB’s inability to deal with illegal drugs
    were deemed justified.

  • 200 drug positives have been identified since 2012, consisting of 47
    different substances, ranging from stimulants, including cocaine, to steroids
    and sedatives, to psychoactive drugs.

  • There have been over 20 drug positives each year since 2014, despite
    dramatic decreases in the number of tests conducted.

Economics
  • Millions of euro in public funds are given to the IGB each year. Since 2001,
    more than €250 million has been paid out. In late 2015, the IGB admitted
    that it was €30 million in debt.

  • According to the IGB’s 2017 annual report, there was a €500,000 net loss
    on racing activities. All nine tracks with reported figures recorded a track
    loss. Gambling on racing has declined by 28% between 2010 and 2018.

  • Attendance at greyhound stadia has dropped by 50% in the last decade.

                               GREY2K USA Worldwide | Irish Council Against Blood Sports 5
REWARDING CRUELTY Greyhound Racing in Ireland - GREY2K USA
Racing Injuries and Deaths
   • From 2015 through 2018, 1,559 greyhounds suffered injuries and 506
     greyhounds were killed at Irish tracks. On average, more than 350
     injuries and 120 deaths were reported each year.

   • Limerick reported the most injuries and deaths in 2018, yet no
     improvements have been made to the track’s condition.

   • In February 2018, Agriculture Minister Michael Creed admitted statistics
     previously provided by the IGB were incomplete.

Breeding
   • 15,000-20,000 greyhounds are bred annually in Ireland, and 6,000
     greyhounds are destroyed each year as failed racers. The industry
     produces 1,000% more greyhounds each year than is required for racing.
     For years, advocates have noted the stark discrepancy between the
     number of greyhounds bred and those registered to race. Greyhounds
     are bred at a €10 million annual loss.

   • Between 2010 and 2018, 2,783 greyhounds were destroyed in pounds.
     Between 2010 and 2015, 88.2% of greyhounds surrendered to pounds
     were destroyed.

   • In April 2016, the IGB implemented a €700,000 breeding incentive
     programme to encourage more breeding. Independent greyhound
     rescue and welfare organisations called on Ireland to limit breeding,
     as charities were only able to home approximately half of the dogs
     relinquished by the industry. Prepared in 2017 and released in 2019, the
     IGB Business Model Analysis by Preferred Results also recommended
     that breeding be drastically reduced.

   • The IGB allocates approximately €100,000 annually to fund adoption
     efforts through the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust (IRGT). The IRGT found
     homes for 529 greyhounds in 2018, with the vast majority of greyhound
     adoption efforts falling to underfunded private charities.

   • Former IGB Chairman Paschal Taggart acknowledged in 2017 that racing
     could not exist without the destruction of thousands of dogs.

6 REWARDING CRUELTY Greyhound Racing in Ireland
REWARDING CRUELTY Greyhound Racing in Ireland - GREY2K USA
Crisis of Confidence
  • Millions of people around the world witnessed RTÉ Investigates:
    Greyhounds Running For Their Lives in June 2019. The documentary
    revealed to the public that 6,000 greyhounds are culled each year for
    poor performance and that half of Ireland’s commercial slaughterhouses
    kill unwanted greyhounds for fees ranging from €10 to €35 each.

  • Minister for Sport Shane Ross referred to the practices as “subsidised
    cruelty,” and called for resignations. Shane Cassells TD has said that
    Irish greyhound racing would be “goosed” without millions of euro in
    state funding. Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland removed greyhound
    racing from their marketing campaigns citing its negative impact and
    “reputational” harm.

  • A September RED C poll showed that the public supports ending
    greyhound racing subsidies by a 2:1 margin. Nevertheless, the
    government announced it will allocate another €16.8 million to the IGB
    for 2020.

  • The model of overbreeding greyhounds is at the centre of this crisis.
    From birth to track to rescue centre, dogs are sacrificed during all stages
    of the process, and underfunded charities are forced to pick up the
    pieces left by an industry that has demonstrated it is unable to protect
    the interests of the dogs it produces.

   A greyhound at an Irish kennel in Donegal, 2018

                            GREY2K USA Worldwide | Irish Council Against Blood Sports 7
REWARDING CRUELTY Greyhound Racing in Ireland - GREY2K USA
Greyhound Stadia
       in Ireland        1

                                                                  Dundalk

                                           Longford

                                                      Mullingar

                              Galway                   Shelbourne Park

                                                 Newbridge

                                            Thurles    Kilkenny
                                Limerick
                                                              Enniscorthy
                                           Clonmel

                                                 Waterford
                     Tralee
                                           Youghal

                                Cork

                       IGB Directly Owned and Managed
                       IGB Some Involvement
                       Privately Owned

 Ireland has a population of 4.76 million people.2 The Republic of Ireland is 70,273 km2.3

8 REWARDING CRUELTY Greyhound Racing in Ireland
REWARDING CRUELTY Greyhound Racing in Ireland - GREY2K USA
Greyhound Racing in Ireland

                                                                      Babe (Pet Levrieri)

1. Track Information                          2. History of Greyhound Racing
There are fifteen licensed greyhound stadia
in Ireland. Bord na gCon also known as
                                              in the Emerald Isle
the Irish Greyhound Board4 (IGB) owns         Greyhound racing began on the island
and manages seven tracks, and has at          of Ireland on April 18, 1927. The first
least some involvement (ownership/            greyhound park was opened at Celtic Park
management) in three additional stadia. The   in Belfast,6 and later that year three more
remaining five tracks are privately owned     tracks were opened: Shelbourne Park7
and operated.5                                and Harold’s Cross, both in Dublin,8 and
                                              Dunmore Stadium in Belfast.9 Showgrounds
 IGB Directly Owned and Managed: Cork,        (Cork) was opened one year later in 1928.10
 Cork (Youghal), Dublin (Shelbourne Park),
 Galway, Limerick, Tralee, and Waterford      Stadia continued to open across Ireland
                                              in the 1930s: Dundalk (1930), Tralee
 IGB Some Involvement: Clonmel (IGB
                                              (1930), Clonmel (1931), Mullingar (1932),
 owned, privately managed), Mullingar
                                              Enniscorthy (1933), and Galway (1934).11 The
 (part-owned), and Newbridge (IGB
 managed since 2013)                          opening night at Markets Field (Limerick)
                                              took place in 1937.12
 Privately Owned: Dundalk, Enniscorthy,
 Kilkenny, Longford, and Thurles

                             GREY2K USA Worldwide | Irish Council Against Blood Sports 9
REWARDING CRUELTY Greyhound Racing in Ireland - GREY2K USA
Sport and Tourism failed to appoint a board
                                                member to supervise the activities of the
                                                IGB, ignoring the recommendation of an
                                                expert report.15

                                                News organisations have reported that
                                                greyhounds are considered “farm animals”
                                                under the law, and the Animal Health
                                                and Welfare Act 2013 does define farm
                                                animals, in part, as animals used for sport.16
                                                However, greyhounds are principally the
                                                subject of two other, specific statutes
 “What is quite evident                         that provide protections to canines, the
                                                Welfare of Greyhounds Act 2011 and the
 is that without that
                                                Control of Dogs Act 1986.17 The Welfare of
 €16.8 million, greyhound                       Greyhounds Act 2011 sets welfare standards
 operations would not be                        and gives welfare officers with the IGB the
                                                authority to inspect kennels, seize evidence,
 viable… the exchequer
                                                issue fines, and initiate prosecutions.18
 can’t be expected to prop
                                                On May 28, 2019, the Greyhound Racing
 up a failing industry.” 13
                                                Bill 2018 was signed into law.19 Despite the
   — Shane Cassells TD                          efforts of Tommy Broughan TD and others,
                                                amendments designed to require reporting
                                                on the disposition of greyhounds and for

3. Regulatory Structure                         the creation of a “white list” of acceptable
                                                foreign countries for export were defeated.20
Greyhound racing is regulated by the Irish
Greyhound Board (IGB). This semi-state
body was established on May 28, 1958
under the Greyhound Industry Act in order to
control greyhound racing. It is a commercial
semi-state body that reports to the Depart-
ment of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

In its 2014 Annual Report, the IGB lays claim
to “wide powers to regulate all aspects of
greyhound racing, from licensing of stadia to
the issue of permits to officials, bookmakers
and trainers.”14

The IGB has repeatedly failed to police
the industry, and the government has
done little to hold the IGB to account.
                                                A puppy bred for racing in Ireland, 2019
Notably, in 2008, the Department of Arts,

10 REWARDING CRUELTY Greyhound Racing in Ireland
4. Drugs                                             (16). In total, the group identified 47 different
                                                     substances, ranging from steroids to
The drugging of greyhounds is a                      sedatives to psychoactive drugs.
long-standing controversy.21 The IGB first
                                                     Vice News reported that in 2017, six
withheld positive doping results from
                                                     cocaine positives were found in four
public view in 2006.22 According to a report
                                                     greyhounds, amphetamines were found in
prepared in the aftermath of the doping
                                                     two greyhounds, and steroids were found
scandal by former Department of Justice
                                                     in three greyhounds—one of whom tested
Secretary General Tim Dalton, the reasons
                                                     positive five times between May and June.28
given by the industry for not publishing this
                                                     An Irish Examiner report also drew particular
information were “not at all convincing.”23
                                                     attention to the cocaine positive of greyhound
In 2014, the IGB commissioned another                Tir Na Croi.29
report. The Morris Report was prepared by
Professor Tim Morris, Independent Scientific
Adviser to the Greyhound Board of Great
Britain on Anti-doping and Medication
Control. It was completed in 2015, and
published by the IGB in 2016. The report
found “longstanding and significant
deficiencies in policies, processes, and
[IGB] implementation that have been
undermining the integrity and reputation
                                              Clonbrian Hero tested positive for cocaine three
of greyhound racing in Ireland.”24 Morris     times, including a positive test following his victory at
went on to note that public concerns          the Irish Laurels final in 2017 (Riverside Kennels)
regarding the IGB’s inability to deal with
                                              A subsequent BBC report focused on
illegal drugs and anabolic steroids were
                                              Clonbrien Hero, one of the greyhounds
justified, and that sample collection bottles
                                              also highlighted in the Vice piece. The dog
were susceptible to tampering.25
                                              had traces of a metabolite of cocaine in his
The IGB began publishing specific adverse     urine on three separate occasions, one of
analytical findings in October 2015,          which followed a victory at the Irish Laurels
prompting further analysis from animal        in Cork.30 More media coverage ensued,
protection advocates and widespread media including an investigative piece by RTÉ’s
attention.26 Greyhound Awareness Cork         Sharon Ni Bheoláin.31 Ni Bheoláin reported
conducted an analysis of IGB drug positives   on the lack of integrity in racing, and the
from October 2015 to June 2019, along with    inadequacy of drug testing procedures.32
other drug positives dating back to 2012
                                                     In October 2018, the greyhound racing
released by the Control Committee during
                                                     broadcaster SIS drew attention to doping
this time period.27 The non-profit association
                                                     and irregular betting patterns at a meeting
found 200 drug positives since 2012, with the
                                                     with the IGB.33 These continued issues
most common drugs being the depressant
                                                     demonstrate that the integrity of racing
Pentobarbital (36), the stimulant caffeine
                                                     remains problematic.
(26), and the anti-inflammatory, ibuprofen

                                 GREY2K USA Worldwide | Irish Council Against Blood Sports 11
Irish-bred greyhounds have also been found     has won €1.8 million to date, twice as much
to be drugged after export, particularly in    as any other trainer, which he has used for
Britain, which relies on Ireland to supply     legal challenges to repeatedly block the
80% of its running dogs.34 The issue of dog    Control Committee from proceeding against
doping has long been debated in London,        him.42 Nevertheless, in September 2018, the
and Members of Parliament have roundly         High Court dismissed Holland’s action against
criticised the Irish industry’s inability to   the Control Committee, with the judge calling
police itself.35                               his challenge “premature.”43 Altogether, six
                                               of Holland’s greyhounds have tested positive
4A. Penalties for Drug Violations              for prohibited substances, with eight total
                                               positive findings. Also of note, trainer Michael
Control Committee Reports provide the          Delahunty’s greyhounds have tested positive
only significant details regarding adverse     for the steroid Stanozolol nine times, with
analytical findings and any penalties levied
on drug positives.36 These are published
online by the IGB.

The weakness of penalties imposed upon
those who drug greyhounds has come
under scrutiny. Mick Wallace TD drew
attention to this issue before Parliament
in 2016.37 Specifically, Wallace addressed
uneven treatment applied by the IGB
to those whose dogs test positive for
prohibited substances.38

4B. Drug Testing
Drug positives are consistent, with over        “The €16.8 million for
20 reported positives each year since
2014, despite dramatic decreases in the         greyhound racing - there
number of tests conducted. Greyhound            would be a lot of children
Rescue Association Ireland (GRAI) noted that    out there who can’t get
“despite the fall in samples taken, 2015 saw
a big rise in the actual number of positives
                                                orthodontic treatment,
returned.”39 Current random sampling only       a lot of people out there
tests one in twelve dogs.40 In 2013, 7,307      who can’t get anything for
tests were conducted, falling to 5,632 and
5,383 in 2015 and 2016 respectively. Samples
                                                children, for school bus
taken have continued to drop: 5,294 tests in    services or anything like
2017 and 5,288 tests in 2018.41                 that. That money would go
The case of Graham Holland stands out. Hol-     a long way.” 44
land was the trainer of Clonbrien Hero, who
                                                  — Willie Penrose TD
tested positive for cocaine in 2017. Holland

12 REWARDING CRUELTY Greyhound Racing in Ireland
Irish Greyhound Racing Attendance vs. Funding                                 45

Clover Dawn and Clover Magic each testing        compelled the IGOBF to declare dog racing a
positive four times. Danny Cawley’s grey-        “failure” in 2016.50
hounds have tested positive for the steroid
6α-hydroxystanozolol, greyhound Alive Alive      5B. Financial Losses
Mayo accounting for five of these positives.46   According to the IGB’s 2017 annual
                                                 report, there was a €500,000 net loss on
5. Economics                                     racing activities. The IGB also paid out
                                                 more than €15 million, €7.52 million of
5A. Debt and Falling Attendance                  which was paid out as prize money, with
                                                 nearly €2 million dedicated to marketing.51
With mounting debt and falling attendance,
the economic model of dog racing is failing.     The majority of greyhound tracks in Ireland
In late 2015, the IGB admitted that it           are losing money, even with the inclusion
was €30 million in debt.47 Between 2002          of funds derived from sponsorship deals.
and 2010, 10.25 million people attended          Based on the IGB’s most recent 2017
the 18,211 greyhound meetings that were          Annual Report, all nine tracks with reported
held across Ireland.48 But attendance            figures recorded a track loss.52 Only when
has dropped by 50% in the last decade,           “tote” profits, defined by the IGB as money
according to the Irish Greyhound Owners          generated from the sale of media rights, are
and Breeders Federation (IGOBF).49               included, could three of the tracks report
                                                 an overall profit: Cork Greyhound Race
Rising debts and falling attendance              Company Ltd, The Kingdom Greyhound

                              GREY2K USA Worldwide | Irish Council Against Blood Sports 13
Public funds paid to the Irish Greyhound Board                                   53

                           (2008-2019)

                                                    Racing Company Ltd (Tralee), and
                                                    Shelbourne Greyhound Stadium Ltd. The
                                                    IGOBF and industry participants have raised
                                                    repeated concerns about industry viability.55

                                                    Gambling on racing has fallen from €32.9
                                                    million in 2010 to €23.7 million in 2018, a
                                                    decline of 28%.56

                                                    In 2019, €16.8 million in public funds
                                                    were given to the IGB, bringing the total
                                                    subsidy money paid out since 2001 to
                                                    more than €250 million.57

                                                    The decision to subsidise horse and
                                                    greyhound racing is put to an annual vote
                                                    in the Dáil Éireann (the Irish Parliament).
                                                    Those voting against funding between 2017
                                                    and 2019 were TDs from political parties
The Irish Greyhound Board’s Annual Report shows a
deficit of €447,296 in 2017 54                      including the Green Party, Independents

14 REWARDING CRUELTY Greyhound Racing in Ireland
4 Change, People Before Profit, Sinn Féin,
Solidarity, and the Social Democrats.58
Notwithstanding the public record,
following the 2018 funding vote, Minister
Andrew Doyle used inflated job figures to
praise lawmakers for continuing subsidies
to the industry and even commended
the IGB for its record on animal welfare.59
Government funding is now at its highest
level but the IGOBF has expressed
skepticism that subsidies will continue in
the future.60 TDs, including Joan Collins,
Paul Murphy, and Maureen O’Sullivan,
have voiced strong opposition to future
allowances for dog racing.61
                                              Ballymac Syd suffered a heart attack and died
                                              after racing at Shelbourne Park in August 2019

                                              6. Racing Injuries and Deaths
                                              Racing track distances range from 300 yards
                                              to 1035 yards.63 Every track now has the
                                              same fine silica sand track surface.64 The
                                              IGB argues that this is the most appropriate
                                              sand type for racing, but some participants
                                              believe that the replacement of grass
                                              surfaces has led to an increase in injuries.65

                                              On the week of March 8, 2019, the IGB
                                              released injury and death data for all tracks
                                              in 2018. 353 injuries and 121 deaths were
                                              reported, and Limerick reported the worst
 “There has to be action by
                                              numbers with 58 injuries and 15 deaths.66
 the government now, we                       These 2018 figures were nearly identical to
 can’t hear more words                        Limerick’s past year figures.67 The IGOBF
                                              had called the Limerick track unsafe in
 defending this industry
                                              2017.68 In spite of the IGOBF’s statement,
 which is based on profit                     the IGB made no improvements to the
 and exploitation. We need                    facility in 2018.
 an end to public funding of                  In February 2018, Agriculture Minister
 the greyhound industry.” 62                  Michael Creed admitted statistics previously
                                              provided by the IGB were not complete.69
   — Paul Murphy TD                           Altogether, since the IGB has been
                                              required to disclose injury data, the

                             GREY2K USA Worldwide | Irish Council Against Blood Sports 15
reported figures show that more than 350              The IGB allocated little more than €100,000
dogs are injured and at least 120 dogs                from its €16.8 million subsidy to fund adoption
die every year at Irish dog tracks.70                 efforts by the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust
                                                      (IRGT). While the IRGT directly found homes for

7. Breeding                                           529 greyhounds in 2018, a reduction from the
                                                      548 in 2017, the bulk of greyhound adoptions
Approximately 15,000-20,000                           occur because of efforts made by under-
greyhounds are bred annually, and an                  funded, private charities.75
estimated 10,000 greyhounds cannot be
                                                      The Irish Coursing Club (ICC), the body that
accounted for.71
                                                      controls coursing and holds the stud book
Litters and projected birth rates declined            for all tattooed greyhounds, has no rehoming
between 2010 and 2016.72 In April 2016,               scheme.76 Most coursing dogs only last one
the IGB implemented a €700,000 breeding               or two seasons before disappearing or being
incentive programme to encourage more                 exported to foreign countries.
breeding. At the same time, no additional
                                                      30,000 dogs of all types are bred in “back
funding was allocated for adoption.73 In
                                                      alley” facilities each year, earning for Ireland
response, leading independent greyhound
                                                      the reputation as the “puppy farm capital
rescue and welfare organisations called
                                                      of Europe.”77 Clearly, the large numbers of
on the UK and Ireland to limit breeding on
                                                      greyhounds produced by racing interests
welfare grounds. The charities stated that
                                                      only adds to this problem.
they were only able to home approximately
half of the greyhounds used for racing.74

A greyhound with her puppies at a breeding kennel in Ireland, 2012

16 REWARDING CRUELTY Greyhound Racing in Ireland
7B. Disappearing Dogs
                                                    GRAI found that in 2012, 17,880 greyhound
                                                    pups were born, based on a conservative
                                                    estimate of six pups per litter. By 2015,
                                                    the point at which these pups would be of
                                                    racing age, 6,100 greyhounds were exported
                                                    to race in the UK, 1,200 greyhounds were
                                                    homed, and 203 greyhounds were reported
                                                    as destroyed by local pounds. 10,377 racing
                                                    greyhounds, or 58%, could not be accounted
                                                    for in this calendar year.82

                                                    In 2015, TheJournal.ie wrote of huge
                                                    numbers of abandoned greyhounds, as well
                                                    as of those relinquished to rescue organi-
                                                    sations and pounds. Citing 2006 figures of
                                                    4,481 litters producing 31,367 dogs, 23,700
                                                    were registered to race, leaving more than
                                                    7,500 missing puppies.83

                                                    In 2017, former chairman of the IGB
                                                    Paschal Taggart said on Cork’s 96 FM that
An Irish puppy bred to race, 2017                   it is “absolutely” acceptable for thousands
                                                    of dogs to be killed as racing could not
7A. Dog Pounds                                      exist without the destruction of dogs.84
There is evidence of hundreds of racing
greyhounds being destroyed in local dog             8. GREYHOUND WELFARE
pounds. GRAI found that from 2010 to
2015, 88.2% of greyhounds surrendered to            8A. High Profile Cruelty Cases
dog pounds (2,497 of 2,896) were simply
                                                    In 2009, The Sun reported that Larry Earle
destroyed.78 The Irish Council Against
                                                    of Wexford was charging €10 to shoot
Bloodsports found that 53 greyhounds
                                                    greyhounds in the head and dispose of
were destroyed in pounds in 2018,
                                                    their bodies. “Something has to be done
bringing the total known number of
                                                    with them when they get old. I used to keep
unwanted and dead greyhounds to 2,783
                                                    dogs myself and sure every so often you’d
between 2010 and 2018.79
                                                    have to put down dogs that’d be no good
Erin Hounds has reported that greyhounds            or whatever, you know. That’s part of life,”
are surrendered daily for immediate                 said Earle.85
destruction.80 GRAI estimates that
                                                    In 2012, a mass grave containing the
thousands do not make it to the pounds
                                                    remains of at least seven greyhounds was
at all, and are instead cruelly destroyed by
                                                    discovered in County Limerick.86 A year later,
their owners.81
                                                    the Irish Independent reported that two of

                                    GREY2K USA Worldwide | Irish Council Against Blood Sports 17
the greyhounds had been given to a third
party to be shot in the head after showing
no interest in chasing hares.87

8B. Inspections and Kennel
Conditions
The IGB has the legal authority to inspect
kennels.88 Animal welfare groups must be
given permission by the IGB to conduct
their own kennel inspections. 89 According
to the IGB, it conducts approximately 600
kennel inspections annually.90 According to
Greyhound Data, there are 432 breeding
kennels in Ireland.91

The number of fines issued for kennel
conditions in breach of greyhound welfare
legislation more than doubled from 2016 to
2017. The increase from 20 fines to 43 fines
occurred despite a drop in the inspection
rate from 571 inspections to 477 inspections
during this period.92 The IGB reduced its
number of kennel inspections to 422 in 2018.93 Greyhounds from Ireland arrive in Macau, China, 2016
                                                    (ANIMA Macau)
Thousands of Irish-bred greyhounds are
housed in British kennels. The Dogs Trust’s         minimal standards of the Greyhound Board
three-month investigation into kennel               of Great Britain were not maintained at
conditions in the UK revealed that even the         tracks across the country. Common viola-
                                                    tions included kennels that were unkept
                                                    and unclean, that showed thick layers of
                                                    dust and cobwebs, were absent of cleaning
                                                    materials and in a poor state of repair,
                                                    contained sharp edges posing risk of injury,
                                                    and which exposed filthy food preparation
                                                    areas and other low standards.94

                                                    8C. Exported Greyhounds

                                                    The Irish Independent reported in May
                                                    2017 that local breeders were exporting
                                                    greyhounds to Pakistan, China, and Argentina
                                                    via the UK and EU. All of these countries lack
A greyhound kennel in Ireland from the RTÉ exposé   animal welfare laws, subjecting the dogs to
Greyhounds Running For Their Lives, 2019            likely abuse.95

18 REWARDING CRUELTY Greyhound Racing in Ireland
RTÉ Investigates found that the transpor-
tation of Irish greyhounds to Pakistan is
                                                     9. DYING INDUSTRY
a “thriving, celebrated, and open trade.”            9A. Speculation of Track Closures
Evidence of sales goes back sixty years, with
Pakistani kennels bragging that 70% of stud          In April 2017, Dr. Andrew Kelly, CEO of the
dogs in Pakistan are Irish-bred.96                   Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to
                                                     Animals stated that it was “time to consign it
Regional animal welfare groups have voiced           [the greyhound industry] to history.”98
their opposition to dog racing in recent
                                                     In August 2017, IGB Chairman Phil Meaney
                                                     discussed the topic of track closures on RTÉ
                                                     Radio One: “It may well be inevitable down
                                                     the road… there may eventually be a further
                                                     reduction.”99 Columnist Floyd Amphlett of
                                                     the Greyhound Star also predicted track
                                                     closures in May 2019 and suspected that the
                                                     Indecon report commissioned by the IGB
                                                     would recommend track closures.100

                                                     9B. Bookmakers
                                                     Despite plans to close betting shops across
                                                     the United Kingdom, the influence of
                                                     bookmakers on greyhound racing has been
                                                     increasing.101 Global broadcast company
                                                     Sports Information Services (SIS) bought into
                                                     greyhound racing in 2016.102 SIS provides
                                                     live racing to bookmakers’ shops around
                                                     the world.103 In late 2018, the IGB signed
                                                     an agreement with SIS, allowing tracks in
                                                     Kilkenny and Waterford to hold races in the
                                                     morning, broadcasting to a global market.104

Two Stone Tadgh was exported from Ireland in 2016    10. CRISIS OF CONFIDENCE
to race at the notorious Canidrome in Macau, China
(ANIMA Macau)                                        10A. IGB Business Model Analysis
                                                     by Preferred Results Ltd.
years. On the prospect of greyhound racing
in India, Arpan Sharma of the Federation of          The IGB commissioned a multi-year
Indian Animal Protection Organisations said,         “Business Model Analysis Report” from
“It is distressing to see the land of the Gurus,     Preferred Results Ltd and received the
who taught compassion for all, introduce             findings in September 2017. The report
something that is harmful for society and for        was highly critical of the industry and found
animals. Greyhound racing is against all the         that the “IGB is not actually a racing-centric
principles taught by the great Sikh gurus.”97        organisation and that the primary focus of

                                  GREY2K USA Worldwide | Irish Council Against Blood Sports 19
A caged greyhound in Ireland from the RTÉ exposé Greyhounds Running For Their Lives, 2019

the organisation is actually on Breeding.”            trainers could then buy Irish dogs at a
Specific findings included the following:             bargain price.

Between 2013 and 2015, approximately                  Preferred Results also found a great
16,000 pups were bred each year for a                 imbalance in terms of prize money
pool of approximately 3,600 dogs, so                  allocation. Specifically, the top 20% of regis-
that the industry produced 1,000% more                tered dog owners competed in 53% of the
greyhounds each year than was required.               total races and won 75% of the total prize
                                                      money (approximately €5 million of €6.8
As many as 6,250 greyhounds were                      million). The top 20% of trainers competed
exported to the UK each year, for prices              in approximately 60% of the total races
which were less than 50% of their actual              and won 80% of the total prize money
production cost.                                      (approximately €2.3 million of the total €3.1
Additionally, large numbers of racing dogs            million). The analysis found that the bottom
were culled based on their performance.               80% of owners “do not come even close” to
The report found that 6,000 dogs were                 being compensated for maintaining their
destroyed each year as failed racers.105              greyhounds and that the bottom 80% of
                                                      trainers “are not doing much better.”
The report pointed out that dogs were bred
at a €10 million annual loss. But thanks              The report generally criticised the IGB for its
to government subsidies that more than                lack of a “racing-centric” value chain and
covered this loss, there was no incentive             for its failure to regulate breeding. It
to reduce the number of dogs bred. The                found that dog pool sizes were larger than
government subsidy’s primary beneficiary              necessary and the culling of dogs was
was British racing: Because the funding               rampant. The report urged for breeding to
allowed breeders to sell at a loss, British           be reduced and that healthy dogs no longer

20 REWARDING CRUELTY Greyhound Racing in Ireland
board described it as “thought provoking”
                                               but “impractical.”107 It chose not to
                                               disclose the findings. But in June 2019,
                                               when faced with a media exposé, the truth
                                               was finally revealed.

                                               10B. RTÉ Investigates: Greyhounds
                                               Running For Their Lives
                                               On June 26, 2019, RTÉ Television ran a
                                               one-hour programme entitled: Greyhounds
                                               Running For Their Lives. The RTÉ investi-
                                               gation, drawing from the Preferred Results
 “You talk about 6,000                         report discussed above, revealed that on
                                               average, 5,987 greyhounds were killed
 greyhounds, many of                           each year between 2013 and 2015.108 The
 them brought to                               programme offered undercover footage
 knackeries… these are                         and documented that half of the country’s
                                               commercial slaughterhouses inhumanely
 animals that should be                        killed unwanted greyhounds for fees
 treated with respect.” 106                    ranging from €10 to €35 each.109

   — Joan Collins TD discussing the
   average number of greyhounds
   destroyed each year in Ireland

be put down. A ‘No Dog Left Behind’
approach was recommended.

The report authors also argued for
separating regulation from commercial
activities, decoupling the IGB from the ICC,
and creating a structure to better regulate
the industry and control the dog pool. Other
recommendations included: managing the
mix of races to give each qualifying dog a
minimum chance of racing 60% of the weeks
in a year, managing the grading of races to
create equal opportunities for dogs in the
race, and rebalancing the rewarding of prize
money to reflect the normal performance
curve of dogs over their racing lives.

When Preferred Results had presented its       One of thousands of greyhound puppies bred at Irish
report to the IGB in September 2017, the       kennels in 2016

                             GREY2K USA Worldwide | Irish Council Against Blood Sports 21
The Irish government should                   industry practices as “subsidised cruelty,”
                                               and argued the IGB members should resign,
stop funding greyhound racing                  as it was “not good enough” that they did
                                               not act earlier to safeguard dogs.113 As of the
                                               writing of this report, no resignations have
                                               taken place.

                                               Lifford Greyhound Stadium closed in
                                               August 2019, citing “an ongoing lack of
                                               support from the Irish Greyhound Board.”114
                                               In the same week, Ger Dollard conceded
                                               that the IGB faced a “huge challenge” in
                                               repairing its reputation.115

                                               The next month, Shane Cassells TD asserted
                                               that Irish greyhound racing would be
                                               “goosed” without millions of euro of state
                                               funding, and that the funding “sticks in the
                                               craw of many people” when there are “poor
                                               unfortunates who have been told there is no
                                               money for home help.”116

                                               Immediately thereafter, Fáilte Ireland
                                               and Tourism Ireland determined they
Since the program aired, the IGB has
                                               would not feature greyhound racing in
publicly distanced itself and dismissed
                                               any tourism marketing campaigns. Ross
aspects of its own report. This contrasts
                                               defended the actions taken by the tourism
with a June 2018 statement by Chief
                                               bodies, noting “we must be careful not to
Executive Ger Dollard who publicly praised
                                               allow current negative publicity [to] damage
the “rigorous, thorough and professional”
                                               our tourism promotions.”117
approach taken by Preferred Results.110
                                               A September 2019 RED C opinion poll
In the aftermath of the RTÉ exposé, atten-
                                               commissioned by ICABS and GAI showed
dance at greyhound tracks has dropped by
                                               that 66% of the Irish public believe the
20%. The IGB’s strategic plan is “predicated
                                               Irish government should discontinue
on a multimillion euro increase in exchequer
                                               funding of the greyhound racing industry,
funding between now and 2021.”111
                                               with clear majorities across age, class,
10C. Public Response to Cruelty                gender, and geographic location.
Revelations
                                               Nonetheless, on October 8, 2019 Minister
Since the RTÉ Investigates programme,          Doyle announced the government would
protests have taken place around the           commit €16.8 million to the IGB for 2020,
country calling for the government to stop     unchanged from its 2019 allocation.118
propping up dog racing.112

Sports Minister Shane Ross charaterised

22 REWARDING CRUELTY Greyhound Racing in Ireland
Protesting greyhound racing in Ireland following the RTÉ investigation, 2019 (Emma O’Brien)

Primary Author: Patrick Baga, Director of Research, GREY2K USA Worldwide
Report Design: Maria Moyser, Director of Communications, GREY2K USA Worldwide
Cover Photo: Olwen by Robin Olive Reich
Endnotes

1. Comptroller and Auditor General Special Report. Development of          stadium, despite ceasing to host home football matches from 1949.
Limerick Greyhound Racing Stadium. Report number 86, August 2014.          The stadium was closed in 1983, and demolished in 1986. (“Belfast
https://www.audit.gov.ie/en/Find-Report/Publications/2014/Special-Re-      Celtic.” Groundtastic. https://web.archive.org/web/20080828182014/
port-86-Development-of-Limerick-Greyhound-Stadium.pdf.                     http:/www.groundtastic.co.uk/archives/belfast_celtic.htm).
2 . Comparable to countries such as Costa Rica (4.9 million), Liberia      7 . Shelbourne is the premier track in Ireland.
(4.73 million), and New Zealand (4.7 million) and the U.S. states of       8. Harold’s Cross (Dublin) closed its doors on February 13, 2017. This
Alabama (4.87 million) and Louisiana (4.68 million).                       gives Harold’s Cross (Dublin) the distinction of being the oldest Irish
3 . Comparable to Sierra Leone (71,740 km2) and the Republic of            greyhound track to close.
Georgia (69,700 km2), and the U.S. states of West Virginia (62,756 km2)    9 . Dunmore Stadium closed in 2000.
and South Carolina (82,933 km2).                                           10. Showgrounds (Cork) was closed and replaced by Western
4 . Bord na gCon abbreviated as BnG, BnaC, and IGB, is a semi-state        Road (Cork) in 1936, and Western Road (Cork) was closed in 1996
body charged with regulating and promoting Greyhound racing in             and replaced by Curraheen Park (Cork) in 2000, which remains in
Ireland. The abbreviation “IGB” will be used for the remainder of the      operation.
report.                                                                    11. Report on Pre-legislative scrutiny of the General Scheme of the
5 . Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Report on         Greyhound Industry Bill 2017, p.13: https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/
Pre-legislative scrutiny of the General Scheme of the Greyhound Industry   oireachtas/committee/dail/32/joint_committee_on_agriculture_food_
Bill 2017, p.17: https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/committee/       and_the_marine/reports/2017/2017-07-07_report-on-pre-legislative-
dail/32/joint_committee_on_agriculture_food_and_the_marine/                scrutiny-of-the-general-scheme-of-the-greyhound-industry-bill-2017_
reports/2017/2017-07-07_report-on-pre-legislative-scrutiny-of-the-gen-     en.pdf.
eral-scheme-of-the-greyhound-industry-bill-2017_en.pdf.                    12 . Markets Field greyhound track closed in 2010, and was replaced
6 . Celtic Park (Belfast) was used for greyhound racing as well as         by the new Limerick Greyhound Stadium. Markets Field has hosted
football, home to Belfast Celtic F.C. Celtic Park endured as a greyhound   GAA, rugby, cycling, soccer, and greyhound racing (Leader Reporter.

                                               GREY2K USA Worldwide | Irish Council Against Blood Sports 23
“End of an era arrives for the Markets Field.” Limerick Leader. July 14,    28 . Journalist Max Daly also draws attention to a 2014 instance
2010. http://www.limerickcity.ie/media/markf007.pdf).                       in which Michael Field, former CEO of the IGB, trained a dog that
13 . “Government can’t be expected to prop up failing greyhound             tested positive for banned stimulants following a victory at the Irish
racing.” Irish Council Against Bloodsports. September 20, 2019. https://    hare-coursing derby. Daly concludes that the doping of greyhounds is
www.facebook.com/banbloodsports/videos/536635617142015/.                    one of several issues plaguing greyhound racing in Ireland, a practice
14 . Bord na gCon. Annual Report 2014. https://www.igb.ie/globalassets/     linked with organized crime and suspicion of race-fixing (Daly, Max.
report-pdfs/annual-reports/annual-report-final2014.pdf.                     “Coked-Up Greyhounds Are Still a Problem in the Dog-Racing Industry.”
15 . At the time, the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism were            Vice. September 21, 2017. https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/8x8xak/
criticised by TDs from both Fine Gael and Fianna Fail, including Fine       coked-up-greyhounds-are-still-a-problem-in-the-dog-racing-industry).
Gael committee chairman Bernard Allen who called the Department’s           29 . Galway greyhound trainer Michael McDonagh was fined €1,000
lack of action a “gigantic leap of faith.” (Brennan, Michael. “Activities   after traces of benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine, were
of greyhound board ‘went unsupervised.’” Irish Independent. June            found in a urine sample from his dog, Tír na Croí (English, Eoin. “139
27, 2008. https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/activities-of-grey-         greyhounds put down over race injuries.” Irish Examiner. November 16,
hound-board-went-unsupervised-26457509.html).                               2017. https://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/139-greyhounds-put-
16 . Crawley, Peter. “When is a dog not a dog? When it’s an Irish           down-over-race-injuries-462935.html).
greyhound.” The Irish Times. June 27, 2019. https://www.irishtimes.         30 . The Laurels final which Clonbrien Hero ‘won’ had a first prize
com/culture/tv-radio-web/when-is-a-dog-not-a-dog-when-it-s-an-irish-        amount of €30,000 (“Clonbrien Hero: Irish champion greyhound tests
greyhound-1.3939314. “RTÉ Investigates: Greyhounds Running For              positive for cocaine.” BBC. September 14, 2017. https://www.bbc.com/
Their Lives.” RTÉ. https://www.rte.ie/player/movie/rt%C3%A9-inves-          sport/northern-ireland/41265901). Trainer Graham Holland said the
tigates-greyhounds-running-for-their-lives/104051751967. “Animal            drug must have been ingested accidentally, but Marissa Payne at the
Health and Welfare Act 2013.” Irish Statute Book. 2013. http://www.         Washington Post reviewed past studies of cocaine transmission before
irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2013/act/15/enacted/en/print.html.                  concluding Holland’s story “does not seem terribly likely” (Payne,
17 . “Welfare of Greyhounds Act 2011.” Irish Statute Book. 2011. http://    Marissa. “Champion Irish greyhound tests positive for cocaine.” The
www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2011/act/29/enacted/en/pdf. “Control of         Washington Post. September 14, 2017. https://www.washingtonpost.
Dogs Act, 1986.” Irish Statute Book. 1986. http://www.irishstatutebook.     com/news/early-lead/wp/2017/09/14/championship-irish-grey-
ie/eli/1986/act/32/enacted/en/print.html.                                   hound-tests-positive-for-cocaine/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.
18 . English, Eoin. “Fines issued over greyhound welfare double.” Irish     5c514a5af84d).
Examiner. January 13, 2018. https://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/          31. Ni Bheoláin appeared on RTÉ’s “Claire Byrne Live” four days after
fines-issued-over-greyhound-welfare-double-465711.html.                     BBC broke the story to discuss the issue of doping. In the interview, Ni
19 . “Greyhound Racing Act of 2019.” Houses of the Oireachtas. May 28,      Bheoláin tells the audience that IGB data shows 91 adverse analytical
2019. https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/bills/bill/2018/109/.                    findings, and 21 prohibited substances ranging from stimulants
20 . “Dáil Éireann debate - Wednesday, 15 May 2019.” Houses of the          to make a dog run faster to sedatives to make a dog run slower to
Oireachtas. May 15, 2019. https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/             powerful painkillers that mask the protective, innate instinct in dogs
debate/dail/2019-05-15/46/.                                                 not to run when injured (“Doping of dogs in the Irish greyhound
21. One of Ireland’s top trainers, Paul Hennessy, has said the indus-       industry.” Irish Council Against Bloodsports. September 19, 2017. http://
try’s image has been ruined by the perception of dog doping and that        www.banbloodsports.com/ln170919.htm).
trainers found guilty of doping have “no place in the industry”. Una        32 . The Irish Bookmakers Association identified “historic weaknesses
Jansen of Greyhound Rescue Association Ireland says the IGB is “turning     in the integrity of the product.” Ni Bheoláin acknowledges IGB
a blind eye” to the problem of drugging dogs to lose (Raleigh, David.       arguments referring to the small percentage of drug positives, but that
“Perception that trainers use drugs on dogs ruins industry image.” The      this is because the IGB has historically used ineffective random routine
Irish Times. September 22, 2018. https://www.irishtimes.com/news/           sampling (Ibid.). Per world anti-doping expert Professor Tim Morris,
ireland/irish-news/perception-that-trainers-use-drugs-on-dogs-ruins-        the IGB needs targeted testing, using an intelligence-led approach
industry-image-1.3637509).                                                  (“Morris Review of Anti Doping and Medication Control in Ireland.”
22 . IGB chairman Paschal Taggart made this decision, ensuring              Irish Greyhound Board. https://www.igb.ie/About-IGB/news/morris-re-
findings of the use of erythropoietin, a performance-enhancing drug,        view-of-anti-doping-and-medication-control-in-ireland/). Ni Bheoláin
on two greyhounds were undisclosed. These actions were in violation         concludes, “the low percentage figure trotted out by the IGB…these
of established IGB policy (“Govt to review laws after Bord na gCon          are tests that were done at a time when our testing laboratory was not
report.” RTÉ News and Current Affairs. July 4, 2006. https://www.rte.ie/    fit for purpose. In the words of Professor Tim Morris, the performance
news/2006/0704/77995-bordnagcon/).                                          standard of the lab was sub-optimal” (“Doping of dogs in the Irish
23 . Corcoran, Judy. “Revealed: the dog-doping secret report.” Irish        greyhound industry,” Irish Council Against Bloodsports).
Independent. May 14, 2006. https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/           33 . “The key challenge in selling Irish greyhound racing is a consumer
revealed-the-dogdoping-secret-report-26411937.html. The report              lack of confidence,” concluded an SIS representative (Rogan, Aaron.
also revealed irregularities and mismanagement of capital that              “Greyhound racing has a doping problem, says broadcaster.” The
dated back to the 1990s (Daly, Darina. “Bord na gCon investigation          Times. February 28, 2019. http://igobf.ie/wp/?p=1116).
published.” The Irish Times. June 11, 2008. https://www.irishtimes.com/     34 . During an undercover investigation in 2016, Scottish greyhound
news/bord-na-gcon-investigation-published-1.824173?mode=sam-                trainer Willie Finnie boasted on video about deliberately slowing down
ple&auth-failed=1&pw-origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.irishtimes.                   dogs to fix races (Blackstock, Gordon. “Sunday Post Investigates: The
com%2Fnews%2Fbord-na-gcon-investigation-published-1.824173).                dark secrets of dog racing where greyhounds are drugged and races
24 . The IGOBF highlight passages in the report that are consistent         rigged.” The Sunday Post. December 11, 2016. https://www.sundaypost.
with previous reports showcasing that the IGB is “not an educated           com/fp/dark-secrets-of-dog-racing/). During an undercover investi-
customer” and that there is a “dearth of available expertise in             gation in 2014, English greyhound trainer Chris Mosdall admitted to
anti-doping and medication control.” Morris further draws attention         doping dogs to rig bets (Foggo, Daniel. “Undercover reporter finds
to public mistrust and GBGB mistrust of the IGB, no consolidated rule       greyhounds ‘drugged to rig bets.’” BBC. November 3, 2014. https://
book, and a lack of detail, focus, and experience. The IGOBF concluded      www.bbc.com/news/uk-29877665).
that it was, “definitely the worst report ever published regarding the      35 . In response to the Mosdall investigation, former British MP Eric
IGB” (“Morris Report.” Irish Greyhound Owners and Breeders Federation.      Martlew said, “I think we’ve given self-regulation a chance. And I
December 16, 2016. http://igobf.ie/wp/?p=578).                              think we’ve seen that it’s not working” (“Undercover reporter finds
25. Ibid.                                                                   greyhounds ‘drugged to rig bets,’” BBC).
26. “Adverse Analytical Findings.” Irish Greyhound Board. https://www.      36. “Control Committee.” Irish Greyhound Board. https://www.igb.ie/
igb.ie/Resource/adverse-analytical-findings/?fbclid=IwAR1ZuyTr-             Resource/reports-and-statistics/control-committee/?fbclid=IwAR07BB-
6y17A7rQS9l_Exc22TuIQAk9m7vgElA0OGg0WgSrCgJN7vGLcZQ.                        cEUF7gnrMcBUdhN95EY3wyEXTxcsmGXNJGL5ZxluxXp0llqNL6Klw.
27. Ibid. “Analysis by Greyhound Awareness Cork” (The data from             37 . Wallace detailed that drug testing cost more than the €100 fine
2012-2015 is not complete, as the IGB did not begin publishing adverse      imposed upon the trainer of a greyhound who tested positive for
analytical findings until October 2015).                                    the prohibited substance of Flunixin. In comparison, the Greyhound

24 REWARDING CRUELTY Greyhound Racing in Ireland
Board of Great Britain (GBGB) imposed a £2,000 fine upon an Irish           subsidiary of the IGB, controlling catering operations.
sales agent for the same substance. Wallace said that it is little wonder   53 . “Greyhound industry gets another €16 million in Budget
the British are recommending to their owners and trainers not to buy        2018” Irish Council Against Bloodsports. October 10, 2017. http://www.
Irish dogs because they are drugged to their ears (“Dail Eireann debate     banbloodsports.com/ln171010.htm. 2019’s subsidy rose to €16.8
–Wednesday, 13 Jul 2016.” Houses of the Oireachtas. July 13, 2016.          million (“Greyhound racing in Ireland is in “serious decline””. Irish
https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/debate/dail/2016-07-13/17/).           Council Against Bloodsports. January 21, 2019. https://www.change.
38 . The example Wallace provides is of prohibited substances being         org/p/irish-government-stop-giving-millions-of-euro-to-cruel-grey-
found in four dogs of trainer Graham Holland. Whilst Holland went           hound-industry/u/23911840).
unpunished, a trainer with just one positive dog was fined. Wallace         54 . “Bord na gCon 2017 Annual Report.” Irish Greyhound Board, pg.
summarised that Holland got off because he had a legal presence, and        49: https://www.igb.ie/globalassets/report-pdfs/annual-reports/
that those with a legal presence will get away with anything. Without a     bord-na-gcon-annual-report-2017.pdf.
legal presence, guilty trainers might pay a little fine (Ibid).             55 . In 2016, the IGOBF highlighted that Tote at the IGB had fallen
39 . “Greyhound Numbers.” Greyhound Rescue Association Ireland.             from €48 million in 2007 to €19.9 million in 2014. Sponsorship,
https://grai.ie/greyhound-numbers/.                                         similarly, fell from €2.09 million in 2007 to €879,000 in 2014. From
40 . Pete the Vet considered testing levels of 2015 and 2016 to be          2007 to 2014, then, Tote and Sponsorship dropped by 58.5% and
insufficient, concluding, “Presently, only about 5,000 random samples       56.2% respectively. As Tote and Sponsorship declined, staff costs
are taken even though there are about 60,000 individual greyhound           rose from €7.05 million in 2011 to €8.3 million in 2014, a 15%
entries annually” (“Greyhound racing: after the ban in NSW, could           increase in a three-year span (“Meeting with Minister Andrew Doyle
Ireland and the UK be next?” Pete the Vet. August 31, 2016. https://        05/06/2016,” Irish Greyhound Owners and Board Federation).
www.petethevet.com/greyhound-racing-after-the-ban-in-nsw-could-             56 . Horgan-Jones, Jack. “Attendance at greyhound tracks drops 20%
ireland-and-the-uk-be-next/).                                               after RTÉ expose.” The Irish Times. September 19, 2019. https://www.
41 . “Bord na gCon 2018 Annual Report.” Irish Greyhound Board.              irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/attendance-at-greyhound-
https://www.igb.ie/globalassets/report-pdfs/annual-reports/annual-          tracks-drops-20-after-rt%C3%A9-expose-1.4023770.
report-2018.pdf.                                                            57 . Irish Council Against Bloodsports. “At least 283 greyhounds
42 . “RTÉ Investigates: Greyhounds Running For Their Lives,” RTÉ.           injured, 96 killed at Irish tracks in 2017.” Animal People Forum.
43 . O’Faolain, Aodhan and Ray Managh. “Challenge over investi-             January 26, 2018. https://animalpeopleforum.org/2018/01/26/least-
gation into greyhound who tested positive for banned substance              283-greyhounds-injured-96-killed-irish-tracks-2017/.
dismissed.” TheJournal.ie. September 28, 2018. https://www.                 58 . For 2019 funding, the vote was 92 in favor and 26 against.
thejournal.ie/greyhound-high-court-challenge-4259752-Sep2018/?f-            For 2018 funding, the vote was 85 in favor and 33 against. For
bclid=IwAR1J5XTmX4Ps6Xy9i00on4LSSiHyufx-B1fae_f0pJwrZ95Ox-                  2017 funding, 105 voted in favor and 13 against (“TDs approve
PNmlCTFppI.                                                                 €80 million more for horse and greyhound racing”. Irish Council
44 . “Labour Party considering ending support for cruel greyhound           Against Bloodsports. December 6, 2017. https://www.facebook.com/
racing.” Irish Council Against Bloodsports. July 11, 2019. https://www.     watch/?v=1512612452187641).
youtube.com/watch?v=gtmA2AS5DJw.                                            59 . Minister Andrew Doyle praised the IGB for its “valuable
45 . Chart provided by Greyhound Awareness Cork. Further analysis by        contribution to animal welfare” and stated the government “does
Irish Council Against Bloodsports.                                          not tolerate any instance of animal cruelty”. Doyle also cited that
46 . Analysis by Greyhound Awareness Cork.                                  racing is responsible for over 10,000 jobs, even though Agriculture
47. Ibid.                                                                   Minister Michael Creed conceded in 2016 that the “Bord na gCon
48 . Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine. The               has informed me that it currently directly employs 128 full time staff
Greyhound Industry, p.4. January 2016. https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/      and approximately 720 part time staff” (“Greyhound industry gets
media/migration/legislation/horsegeryhoundlegislation/JointCmmt-            another €16 million in Budget 2018,” Irish Council Against Blood-
teeDAFMGreyhoundIndustry130217.pdf.                                         sports).
49 . Per Irish Council Against Bloodsports, there has been a 49%            60 . The IGOBF has noted that the IGB is “devoid of ideas and
fall in track attendance between 2008 and 2017 (“Shocking new               has now become totally dependent on government funding. The
statistics reveal that Limerick Greyhound Stadium is the worst in           general public perception which will become more negative due
Ireland for dog deaths.” Irish Council Against Bloodsports. February        to the failure to address welfare issues suggests this money may
27, 2018. https://www.facebook.com/banbloodsports/posts/shock-              not always be available” (“Meeting with Minister Andrew Doyle
ing-new-statistics-reveal-that-limerick-greyhound-stadium-is-the-           05/06/2016,” Irish Greyhound Owners and Board Federation).
worst-in-i/1595016310613921/). These statistics are corroborated            61 . “I’m appalled at the Minister’s response.” Irish Council
by RTÉ’s Ni Bheoláin, who reported in 2017 that attendance and              Against Blood Sports. July 2, 2019. https://www.youtube.com/
numbers of greyhound owners were down 50% in less than a decade             watch?v=469UEpEAQ08&feature=youtu.be.
(“RTÉ Prime Time Investigates The Irish Greyhound Industry,” RTÉ).          62 . Ibid.
The figures are also consistent with a statement released by the Irish      63 . Sprints in Ireland range from as low as 300 yards at some tracks
Greyhound Owners and Breeders Federation (IGOBF) which refer-               to as high as 400 yards at Dundalk and Mullingar. Middle ranges
enced a drop-off in attendance of 1.28 million in 2007 to 644,000 in        from as low as 500 yards at Waterford to as high as 575 yards at a
2014. In this 8-year span, attendance dipped 49.7% (“Meeting with           number of tracks. Stayers are as low as 600 yards at a number of
Minister Andrew Doyle 05/06/2016.” Irish Greyhound Owners and               tracks to as high as 790 yards at Clonmel. And Marathons range
Breeders Federation. July 8, 2016. http://igobf.ie/wp/?p=573).              from as low as 750 yards at Tralee to as high as 1035 yards at
50 . The IGOBF discussed economic failure as well as welfare failure.       Thurles (“British and Irish Greyhound Track Lengths.” Greyhound
In their statement, the IGOBF additionally cited a 39.5% drop in active     Predictor. http://www.greyhoundpredictor.com/info/track-lengths.
ownership from 2011 to 2015 (“Bombshell statement from Irish organ-         html#irish).
isation representing hare coursing and track racing.” Indymedia Ireland.    64 . “Irish Greyhound Racing.” Australian Greyhound Racing. June 3,
September 10, 2016. https://www.indymedia.ie/article/105964). The           2017. https://australianracinggreyhound.com/ireland/.
statement also references a meeting between the IGOBF and Minister          65 . “Track Welfare.” Irish Greyhound Board. https://www.igb.ie/
of the State at the Department of Agriculture Andrew Doyle, at which        Resource/greyhound-welfare/track-welfare/. Speaking at Shelbourne
Doyle was unable to explain why nobody knew how many people                 Park in 2018, one patron quipped, “There used to be hardly any
greyhound racing employs. The IGOBF concluded, “We don’t expect             injuries at all – with the sand, there’s a lot more injuries on it. They
any figures to be made public as this would only highlight the failure of   don’t get the grip on it” (“The people are gone out of greyhound
the industry” (“Meeting with Minister Andrew Doyle 05/06/2016,” Irish       racing.” Irish Council Against Bloodsports. September 21, 2018. https://
Greyhound Owners and Breeders Federation).                                  banbloodsports.wordpress.com/2018/09/21/the-people-are-gone-
51. The €16.8 million subsidy from the Horse & Greyhound Racing             out-of-greyhound-racing/). In 2006, leading trainer Paul Hennessy
Fund offsets expenses.                                                      penned “Get Rid of the Sand” in Greyhound Weekly where he wrote,
52. Privately managed Clonmel Greyhound Racing Company Ltd’s                “I said a while ago that I would never get involved in the sand affair
profitability is not given in the chart. Abargrove Ltd is a wholly owned    again after the last time but I cannot stand by and see all the good

                                                GREY2K USA Worldwide | Irish Council Against Blood Sports 25
You can also read
NEXT SLIDES ... Cancel